Visit Middle School classrooms who have begun to adapt to the new Common Core State Standards. Learn what changes Middle School teachers are making in their teaching techniques to adapt to the new standards.
|Scooped by Rose Heim|
In my attempt to find a reasonable explanation of Common Core for the layperson, I found this nice video from teachingchannel.org which helps to explain a little bit about middle school math curriculum and also the standards in Language Arts at that level. I think that it will be valuable as a teacher to have resources like this one to help explain the standards to parents/guardians, especially since there is so much information and misinformation about Common Core Standards out there. For anyone who is a bit skeptical about the reasons behind these new standards and how they can be beneficial to our youth this video can help answer some of their questions. The big push is for college and career readiness. I cannot speak to the effectieness of Common Core in making a child ready for life - it is simply too new to judge, but I know from past conversations with parents of kids entering college that many of their children have had to take entry level reading and math courses before taking "college level" courses in those subjects. Whether it was the fault of previous standards or something about the particular student is difficult to discern. At any rate, I believe there are good intentions here - something needed to change. I am very interested in hearing all of the positive and negative press about common core. When we are teachers in another year or two we will probably hear alot of the same. It will serve us well to know what discussion points are out there and to have informed responses. As an example, the video talked about the misconception that "common core says 1 + 1 can = 3". This really resonated with me. I had actually heard something similar - that with Common Core kids could approach a problem in any way that they wanted and it didn't matter whether the answer was right or wrong. I can see how both of these ideas have a ring of truth to them. When we allow kids to explore and discover ideas in math they may come up with wild ideas and they may fail at first. Educators can let the children go through this process and it can be beneficial, but we must be careful to remember that there IS a right answer. Off track thinking has to be reigned in. I think it's great that there will be more independent thinking in my future class but that in itself is not the answer to prepare kids for the world. Another complaint that I have heard and that was mentioned in the video is that in Language Arts there is less emphasis on the classics. Again, true, but with an explanation. When the kids graduate and get a job they aren't going to be given an instruction manual in the style of Shakespeare or Whitman. Kids are expected to be able to understand informational texts...something that is very useful in a job (or in a math class). There is only so much time in the school day and I think it is important to prepare kids for reality. Hopefully the Common Core Standards will deliver on their promises.